“Clearings. That’s what I needed” Slowly my brain righted itself into spaces unused for months.” – Helen MacDonald
Last year brought a lot of changes to my life. I was forced to stop running and had to face my fears when having major surgery. I was fortunate to have an amazing doctor and access to a teaching hospital. My surgery went as planned, and my doctor was impressed with my “quick recovery.”
Of course, what was “quick” for him was “painfully slow” for me. I had followed the pre-operation workout routine and completed the exercises assigned by the physical therapist afterwards. But I didn’t feel as strong as I thought I should. A walk to the end of the driveway and back felt like a 10k run. Not exhausting, but a workout.
The longer the recovery took, the older I felt.
“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.” – Steve Maraboli
Growing up, we always had pets. For about 15 years, 2 cats ruled the house – Kizmee (a Siamese) owned the upstairs, while Sandy (a money cat who walked up to our house and moved in) was the queen of the downstairs. With her double paws, Sandy also governed the front yard.
Our dogs knew that they were the subservient species. Even Benjie, a large shepherd-collie mutt, received early training as a puppy from the cats about his role in the house. After receiving a few swats, he knew that whenever a cat entered a room, he got out of their way.
“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” – Robert Frost
Last week, something terrifying happened. After a software update, all of my calendar entries from February 6, 2019 forward disappeared from my calendar. I had synced my android before I realized the problem, so I couldn’t restore from there. After 45 minutes on the phone with Microsoft support, I heard the diagnosis, “I’m sorry, sir, but it appears the update caused the issue, and we can’t restore your calendar.”
"The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live” – Mortimer Adler
For decades, I’ve disdained slippers. They seemed like an unnecessary piece of clothing. Either I wore shoes – dress shoes, work boots, running shoes – or I went barefoot. Having something “in between” would just take up more room in my closet.
My outlook changed with my hip surgery last summer. In addition to needing a cane, I would have difficulty bending over for weeks. That would make tying my shoes a challenge. Walking barefoot wasn’t recommended, so I had to find slip-on shoes – slippers.
Reading and Books,
"Those who wish to sing, always find a song." – Swedish Proverb
Back in 2007, my wife and I spent a week in Paris for our 20th anniversary. It was everything we expected. It was wonderful.
Before the trip, we conducted a lot of research. We visited our local library and bookstores to get travel guides and map books. Some books were more formal, like Frommer’s Guide, while others were not so formal, like The Irreverent Guide to Paris. We downloaded articles from the internet and reached out to friends and family. We had a lot of information.
With so many sources, some of the advice was contradictory. One person would talk about how helpful people were, while someone else would grouse about snobby Parisians. Americans were beloved. Americans were hated. Speak French if you can. Don’t even bother trying to speak French. What were we to expect?